DiscoverMag: Over the Hill? Cognitive Speeds Peak at Age 24.
“It’s not all bad news for those of us on the wrong side of 24, however. Researchers found that older players compensated for their slower cognitive speed by making the game simpler. For example, older players retain their skill by using more keyboard shortcuts to make up for their motor-speed declines.” Makes me feel a little better.
SciAm: Massive Turquoise Trade Network of Ancient Pueblos Revealed.
“In the new study, researchers traced Chaco Canyon turquoise artifacts back to resource areas in Colorado, Nevada and southeastern California. The results definitively show, for the first time, that the ancestral Puebloans – best known for their multistoried adobe houses – in the San Juan Basin area of New Mexico did not get all of their turquoise from a nearby mining site, as was previously believed.” Instead of those amazing ancient ‘roads’ (no horses!) being a one-way delivery route supplying Chaco, trade was running back and forth across much larger distances. Cool.
Epictetus, Discourses 1.2.
“You must know how highly you value yourself and at what price you will sell yourself; different men sell themselves at different prices.”
Yale Daily News: Study explores beliefs about free will.
“The study establishes that people have a greater belief in free will after thinking about others committing immoral actions compared to committing morally neutral actions. This finding suggest that belief in free will is a fluid concept ...”
ElPais: Spain’s lost Celtiberian helmets.
Such rare items shouldn’t really be sold on the private market. I know, I know - if I found such a treasure, I’d probably sell off some of the kit to recoup excavation costs, keeping the best back. But still. I’d sure like to see these in a museum, given their amazing state of preservation and historical significance.
The Smart Set: From the Ashes.
“Of course, now that Pompeii has been excavated, the site is becoming a normal ruin. It is falling into decay. But not the calchi, and that is why the calchi are so uncanny. The calchi aren’t ruins and they never can be. The calchi are like snapshots of death. For that reason, they make the death of Pompeii as palpable and present to us now as it was two thousand years ago. ” You can view some of these at the Franklin Institute in Philadephia until April 27.
New Yorker: Telling African-American History Through Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations.
ArtDaily: Spain’s ‘Holy Grail’ faces sceptical inquisition; Experts say a myth.
Braudel: The Structures of Everyday Life, Civilization and Capitalism (Vol. 1).
For the SCOTUS-concerned: “On the other hand, looking up instead of down from the vast plane of the market economy, one finds that active social hierarchies were constructed on top of it: they could manipulate exchange to their advantage and disturb the established order. In their desire to do so — which was not always consciously expressed — they created anomalies, ‘zones of turbulence’ and conducted their affairs in a very individual way. At this exalted level, a few wealthy merchants in eighteenth-century Amsterdam or sixteenth-century Genoa could throw whole sectors of the European or even world economy into confusion, from a distance.” We continue to be impervious to history.
SciAm: Stem-cell Scientist Found Guilty of Misconduct.
“A six-person committee — three RIKEN scientists, two university researchers and a lawyer — looked at six problems. Four were dismissed as innocent errors, but in two cases the committee found that Obokata had manipulated data in an intentionally misleading fashion. They branded it scientific misconduct.”
SciAm: Multiverse Controversy Heats Up over Gravitational Waves.
The Dish: A Bachelor’s Degree In Gettin’ Paid.
Happy to see NM Tech on the list.
The Airship: Today in Literary History - Percy Shelley Thrown Out of Oxford.
More often than ever appreciated, a troubled child becomes a brilliant adult.
ArtDaily: Two restored colossal pharaoh statues unveiled in Egypt.
ScienceDaily: Devasting consequences of scarcity of ‘knowledgeable elders’.
“When the number of informed individuals falls below a certain level, or the strength of their determination to go in a certain direction falls below a certain threshold, the migratory pathway disappears abruptly.” I would imagine political strategists are noting this down ...
Randal S. Olson: It’s impossible to work your way through college nowadays.
OpenCulture: A Romp Through the Philosophy of Mind: A Free Online Course from Oxford.
Yahoo: States looking at $0 community college tuition.
FiveThirtyEight: What the Fox Knows.
NY Times Sunday Review: The Incessant Selling of the Self.
OpenCulture: Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers.
Guardian.UK: The scientific study has become a flawed manual for living.
“Every ‘study’ becomes a guide to modern life, a teacher who knows us better than we know ourselves, an analyst who can look into our souls. Where our ancestors relied on the Bible or at least a political philosophy, we can write our biography in studies. They become the measure against which we judge ourselves. Worse, they become the measure we hold other people to.”
Guardian.UK: How the ancient Greeks shaped modern mathematics – video animation.
ArtDaily: Dinosaur-killing impact acidified oceans says study by Japanese scientists.
“A common theory is that a ‘nuclear winter’ occurred — the dust pall prevented sunlight reaching the surface, causing vegetation to shrivel and die, and dooming the species that depended on them. Another, fiercely debated, idea adds acid rain to the mix. ”
VQR Online: A Grand Tour.
“Our passion to perfect ourselves runs roughshod over our reason, bending it toward its own ends—ends that, by their very nature, are endless. Thus, Rousseau laments, the ‘human race, debased and dispirited … brought itself to the brink of its ruin.’” In this article about Boswell and Rousseau, even Facebook gets a mention.